Just about every cyclist has a Strava account these days. The digital logbook has evolved to be the place to be for the bicycling community. You don’t just post your ride statistics these days: a lot of riders share wonderful photos and even stories. And we haven’t even begun to talk about the huge amounts of useful data which Strava provides. In other words, this company has a huge amount of information about cyclists from all over the world. And now that we’re coming to the end of 2018, it’s the perfect moment to look back over the year in Strava numbers.

Overall numbers

Let’s start with some overall statistics which we have extracted from Strava’s user data. In 2018, Strava uploaded a total of 187.5 million activities. Cycling activities, just to be clear. That’s an average of 34.2 rides per user. Each ride was some 35km long and included 350m of elevation gain. Add all that together and you get 8.5 billion km of riding. That means we’ve ridden a total of some 212,000 times around the earth.

Training Strava Mallorca

Credit: Getty Images

Most popular Strava segment

You can compare your performance to other riders on Strava. This is what ‘segments’ are used for. These bits of road – with virtual start and finish lines – make it possible for any rider to try his or her luck against the fastest on that specific stretch of road. The only thing you have to do is ride as fast as you can from A to B. And upload your result. Once your ride is online, you can compare your performance to every other Strava rider who has ridden that segment. But there can only be one most popular segment. And the winner is… Dorking, in the UK. The name of the specific segment is “Box Hill (Junction to Island)” and in 2012 it was part of the Olympic course. The segment is 2.5 kilometers long and has an average gradient of 5%. In 2018, there were a total of 492,520 attempts to break the record. Have you had a go yet?

Peer pressure

It’s not scientifically proven, but one can clearly see the effect on the stats of people cycling together in groups. Riders in groups cover nearly twice as many km per ride as solo riders (49 compared with 26.9km). Also, cycling club members are almost twice as active as non-members. We’re talking about Strava clubs here, by the way: the influence of analogue clubs has not been measured.

Another fun fact is that there were twice the number of virtual rides in 2018 as there were rides on real roads. Zwift is clearly the instigator of this trend.

Zwift Group Ride Strava

Hitting the summit on a virtual climb

Set a goal!

Strava also concludes that riders who set a goal are more likely to perform better than those who don’t. Of all the members, those who set a goal were 90% more likely to still be active on the platform six months later.

Man and women

While there’s certainly an imbalance in the number of men and women on Strava (382 million men, 50 million women), we can still extrapolate some averages from this. It’s interesting to note that there was very little difference between the average speed of men and women. Men cycled at an average speed of 22 kph, while women moved along at an average of 19.5 kph. Per ride, men were in the saddle for an average of 1:30:28 while women rode for 1:38:37.

Photos and smileys are in ?

Another handy tip for the dedicated Strava users among us: if your new year’s resolution is to get more kudos in 2019, then it really helps to include photos and smileys in your activities. Apparently this alone can double the amount of kudos you receive! ?